Peshawari Chole

This chole recipe is from Peshawar(duh!), originally part of the Punjab region, is now a part of Pakistan. History has recongnized Peshawar as being the center of trade and civilization from as early as the 2nd century. Trying a recipe that has been around for centuries is a great experience. The way that the cooks of olden days combined fresh spices, toasted them and ground them to yield such a flavorful curry is amazing. With the advancement in culinary science yielding us a lot of spice blends…this chole can be put together in a jiffy. Thats coss you get readymade Chole Masala ūüôā

I have made one other change to the recipe in that I have not used dry kabuli channa or garbanzo beans. I have used green garbanzo beans that are sold frozen. These emerald beauties made an appearance at Costco the past month…and as soon as I saw it, I so wanted to make a chole recipe with it. Hence the story. Feel free to substitute regular old chickpeas for a more authentic taste.

2 cups frozen green garbanzo beans, thawed OR 1 cup dried garbanzo beans, soaked overnight
2 tbsp oil
1 large red onion, finely minced
2 bay leaves
2 tomatoes chopped
1 potato, cubed (optional)
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
2 green chillies, slit
1 tbsp punjabi chole masala
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin powder
2 tbsp coriander powder
salt to taste
chopped onion, for garnish

Heat the oil in a pan. Add the bay leaves and the onion, saute until the onion it becomes golden brown. Add the slit green chillies, ginger garlic paste and the chopped tomatoes. Add some salt and cook until the mixture becomes saucy. Add the coriander powder, chilli powder, paprika, cumin powder, garam masala and punjabi chole masala. Add the cubed potatoes and the garbanzo beans and about 1 1/2 cups water. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes until the potatoes are soft and the garbanzo beans are cooked.

If using dry soaked garbanzo beans, you may do this in a pressure cooker and cook the mixture for 2 whistles. Check the chole for seasoning. Sprinkle with some chopped onion and cilantro. Serve with roti/paratha/bhatura of choice.

Verdict: This chole tasted very earthy and has great depth for flavor. What I loved most about this dish is that there is no grinding, tomato puree or any sort of extra effort to make it, and this makes a perfect weeknight curry.

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